New Zealand: Organic Sector Continues to Expand

The New Zealand organic sector is now worth over half a billion NZ dollars, prompting claims from industry leaders it had gone mainstream.

Domestic and global demand for New Zealand organics saw the sector grow 30 percent since 2015 and was now worth NZ $600m (USD 413m), according a new report from Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ).

OANZ chief executive Brendan Hoare said it showed organics was no longer a niche market. There was a national and global mood for change to natural, ethical, sustainable food and other daily used products.

“Consumers want change, so they can live their values, producers and farmers are seeking change to do what is good for the land they love, and global markets are demanding greater and greater choice as organic goes mainstream” says Hoare.

The report analysed the New Zealand organic market using census questionnaires of exporters and speciality organic food stores as well as data from AC Nielson. It was released at Parliament by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor​.

It showed a domestic market worth NZ $245 million (USD 170m) per annum with eight out of 10 Kiwi shoppers buying organic food and groceries at least on a fortnightly basis.

Exports of primary food products, wine and beauty care products grew 42 percent to $355 million (USD 245m) per annum.

This represented a tiny percentage of a surging organic global market where organic food sales alone were worth EUR 85 billion and growing at 10.5 per cent a year. Europe, North America and Australia continued to be the sector’s primary export destinations, comprising 69 per cent of all exports.

“The report clearly indicates that Kiwis want to be part of the global movement towards sustainability, and at a time when humanity grapples with the complexity of global environmental, economic, social and health issues, organic continues to offer a solution that is profoundly simple,” Hoare said.

The next step for the sector was to build a national organic strategy to harness the mood for change and step up to become a leader in organic production and marketing, he said.

OANZ chairman Doug Voss said the organic market was the fastest growing multi-food sector in the world.

“We live in the age of the conscious consumer – a well-informed, instant sharing and caring, savvy, opinionated community that knows no borders.”

“They want what we’ve got and expect producers, retailers and distributors to listen to their clarion call for safe, genuine, natural food and other daily products. It’s exciting, and the report shows that New Zealand can be a leader in the worldwide movement to organic food.”

Other snapshots from the 2018 Organics Aotearoa New Zealand Market Report include:​

  • The number of certified organic operations were up 12 percent to 1118 licensees and 1672 certified enterprises.
  • The domestic consumer market for organic products is growing twice as fast as conventional, up 8.1 percent per year against non-organic products at 4.8 percent per year.
  • Organic supermarket sales were NZ $216m for the year to May, but these still only add up 2.2 percent of total supermarket sales – specialty stores sold NZ $30m worth of organic products.
  • The main reason for choosing organic products was “to look after my own and my family’s health”, with 67 percent of respondents selecting this option.

Related Report: The Asian Market for Natural & Organic Cosmetics

Source: (20/07)